Establishing an “Academic Time” at Home
Do you have homework tonight?
As an educator and a parent, I can remember fighting the constant battle with my stepchildren. I would ask, “Do you have homework?” and the reply was always one of the following:
- “I finished it at school.”
- “Oops. I left it on the bus.”
A few years ago, as a consultant with DataWORKS Educational Research, I began recommending that parents establish a set “Academic Time” every day after school for all of their children for the thirteen years of their K-12 education.
The Academic Time should vary with age, but to start, I would suggest:
- 30 minutes for students in grades K-2
- 45 minutes for students in grades 3-6
- 60 minutes for students in grades 7-9
- 90 minutes for students in grades 10-12
During this time, something “academic” must take place. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Research a topic and give an oral or written summary to a parent
- Work on a project for school
- Finish any assigned homework
- Gather information from an educational website
- Write a poem or narrative
- Any other creative educational activities that do not include video games, cell phones, or television
So, if students have homework that night, then obviously that would fill up their Academic Time. But if they “finished it at school” or “didn’t have any,” then their time could be spent doing another academic task of their choice.
This seems to be the solution to the “Do you have
homework?” dilemma. And guess what, it costs nothing!